November 2010

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Trends and Applications

It has been widely documented - data is growing at astronomical rates. The amount of data your organization has is less important than how the data is being used. Is data growth hindering your business or is it providing a better understanding of the direction you need to go?

There has been a lot of interest lately in NoSQL databases and, of course, many of us have strong backgrounds and experience in traditional relational "SQL" databases. For application developers this raises questions concerning the best way to go. One recurring truth that eventually surfaces with all new software technologies is that "one size does not fit all." In other words, you need to use the right tool for the job, as each has its own strengths and weaknesses. In fact, a danger of many new architectural approaches is one of "over-adoption" - using a given tool to address a wide array of situations when originally they were designed for the specific problem domain in which they excel.

If data is the lifeblood of an enterprise, a robust master data management (MDM) solution may well be the heart, pumping purified data downstream to vital applications and databases while simultaneously accepting inaccurate and old data for cleansing and enrichment. This "bloodstream," as we know it, is comprised of a myriad of different subject areas, and/or domains. Though the MDM market may well consider itself conceptually and technically mature, end users still struggle to determine whether they should embrace specialist MDM solutions dedicated to supporting one subject area, or make one strategic acquisition and implement truly-multi domain software that addresses multiple subject areas.

Columns - Applications Insight

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has been notoriously critical of cloud computing - or at least of the way in which the term "cloud" has been applied. He often has expressed his frustration when "cloud" is applied to long established patterns such as software as a service (SaaS), especially when this is done by Salesforce.com. While there's widespread agreement that "cloud" has become a faddish, over-hyped and often abused term, some have speculated that Ellison's obvious frustration has been fueled by Oracle's inability to fully engage in the cloud computing excitement prior to the conclusion of the Sun acquisition.

Columns - Database Elaborations

Psychiatrists report play is important for keeping our minds and bodies healthy and happy. It has been uncovered that without at least some play, we mentally and physically deteriorate. Lack of play can lead to depression. Our brains are so hardwired in their need for playful activities that without such expressions we loose focus. Play enhances the creativity and imagination within us. Likewise, play has a proper role within our work. And not just for the psychological benefit to the individual, but for the overall health of the organization. For an IT development group, play is essential for finding better ways to approach problems. Within an IT context, play involves evaluating new ways to handle old problems. Prototyping, at times, constitutes play. Prototypes can be used for more than just the practicalities of the user interface; sometimes a prototype of specific functions is necessary for comparisons in order to judge how non-obvious techniques may perform. Such prototype endeavors can involve not only new algorithms, but potentially variant data structures. Ideally, such prototypes will improve team understanding of the data structures and offer insights into potential new and innovative approaches.

Columns - DBA Corner

SQL is the lingua franca for modifying and reading database data and any DBA worth his (or her) paycheck should be proficient in writing SQL queries. But SQL is a flexible and feature-rich language, so there are always things that can be learned - even by senior technicians. As such, this month's column discusses several interesting SQL queries that you can put in your bag of tricks for future use.

Columns - SQL Server Drill Down

I am attending my first Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) Summit in Seattle this month. A lot of DBAs I meet are very keen to attend these events as the standard of speakers and quality of content is so high. Travel, accommodation and attendance costs are often prohibitive, however, let alone getting the time away from the office. Getting managers' approval to attend and justifying the cost can be difficult, especially for those of us based outside the U.S. PASS also runs a European event in April each year in Germany and, in the U.K., we have the SQL Bits conference. Those who wish to attend can still run into the same objections, however.

MV Community

Ashwood Computer, a MultiValue VAR organization specializing in MultiValue database conversions, migrations, upgrades, and .NET development projects, has announced that it has successfully converted Envirochem, Inc. to Reality 14.1.

Entrinsik Inc., a provider of web-based operational reporting and analysis solutions, has recently announced the hiring of Jonathan Harrell as vice president of Informer sales. Bringing more than 10 years of sales and business development leadership experience within the business to business software space to this new role, Harrell will be responsible for evangelizing the value of Informer Web Reporting as well as building a highly qualified sales team to respond to growing demand.

MITS, a provider of reporting and business intelligence solutions, has announced a major new release of its popular operational reporting solution, MITS Report.

Onsystex Corporation, which helps companies extend the reach and effectiveness of MultiValue applications, has announced that it has extended its operations by acquiring the development and outsourcing business of EuphoriaNET, a global IT services company, to expand its outsourcing offering to include offshore development in Latin America.

Rocket Software has released U2 DataVu. It is the first entirely new product the U2 group has delivered since becoming part of Rocket Software, Susie Siegesmund, vice president and general manager, Rocket U2, tells DBTA.

TigerLogic Corporation has announced the general availability of its next-generation multidimensional database management systems, D3 v9.0 and mvBase v3.0. The company has also unveiled a new development tool, the TigerLogic Dashboard, which can be used to create visual displays of MultiValue data via widgets.